The first race of this week's Tour of Clydeside 4-race series.
A fairly small field of 50 runners gathered on the disused railway line at Kilbarchan. I decided to set off pretty fast and then try to hang on. Within a couple of minutes I had opened up a lead where I couldn't hear any footsteps behind me, but I knew that this wasn't a pace I could sustain for the next 8km, so I backed off a fraction and allowed a young runner in orange vest (Chris Devenney) to join me. We then ran side by side until the halfway point at about 4.4km. We hit the turn in 15:10, so I was guessing around 30 minutes for the finish time.
Just after 5km I got a rush of blood to my head and suddenly increased the pace, which was enough to open a gap again, but I realised I couldn't hold this pace for 12 minutes, so started slowing again. By 7km I was feeling wasted and could hear footsteps closing me down, and half thought about letting the runner behind catch me and drag me along for a bit, but as soon as I had 5 minutes left I upped the pace and forced myself to accelerate all the way to the line.
Thanks to John McMillan who supplied the chasing footsteps for the last couple of miles!
Despite finishing first, I discovered I went through 5 miles in 28:11, which was slower than my Irvine 5-mile road race time from a couple of weeks ago. However it was a very rare race win for me, so I was pleased with that! And it was good to have a chat with Colin Shields and John Kynaston. And Ellie did well to finish as 2nd lady, as usual!
Photos courtesy of Michael Finlay